Independence Day: Resurgence Battle Heroes is a mobile strategy role playing game (RPG) set in the world of the upcoming summer blockbuster, Independence Day: Resurgence. (Check out the movie trailer here) The game, by developers Zen Studios, focuses around building a fleet of ships to defend against an alien invasion. Your ships use an advance technology by using a reverse engineering method from the alien crafts used in the first attack on Earth 20 years ago. A new alliance has been formed known as the Earth Space Defense (ESD) which the player will command.
There isn’t much of a progressive story, but the prologue sets the pace for the game. The story takes place 20 years after the events of the 1996 film Independence Day. Earth has united and spent the last 20 years rebuilding and reverse engineering alien tech to protect them from future attacks. The alien threat has once again set its sights on Earth and the ESD must recruit veteran pilots and new to defend against the deadly extraterrestrial forces.
Gameplay is fairly simplistic. Before each battle, you are given a brief description of what lies ahead. Details include possible enemies, level requirements, and possible rewards for completing the challenge. The next screen takes you to your squad select. Here you will be able to assign which squadrons you will send out for the fight. This menu gives you a chance to compare your squad’s overall strength to that of the enemy’s in order to put together the most effective team. From there, you will start your battle.
Battles consist of your squad of up to five ships versus the aliens’ squads. The battle system is turn based, giving your ship with the best speed attribute first attack. Choose an attack, then choose a unit to attack. Choosing which ship to attack is made easier by highlighting each enemy ship with one of three colors. Green means you will do significant damage, red means that that particular enemy has defenses to that type of attack, and yellow is neutral, meaning average damage will be dealt. After all of your ships have made their offensive maneuvers, the alien ships will take their turns, then back to you, and do on until the battle is complete.
Each of your ships has a default attack that recharges immediately after use and two special attacks that recharge after a certain amount of full turns have passed. Attacks do one of three types of damage: kinetic, electromagnetic, and explosive. These are where the color coded highlights come in handy. Certain enemies have weaknesses to certain attack types and are defended heavily against others.
There are three different types of battles you will encounter during the campaign.
- Attack waves, which you will have to outlast and defeat waves of alien squadrons.
- Boss fights, where you must destroy the boss before a certain amount of turns has passed.
- Counter defense, in which you have to keep your ships alive for a certain amount of turns before reinforcements arrive.
After each battle, you will be rewarded with XP to raise your ESD level, a variety of salvaged parts to use in upgrading your ships, and in game currency. As your ESD level rises, you unlock different areas of Area 51, including daily challenges, squad specific operations (some operations have requirements such as only male pilots or only American pilots), as well as gaining allies (other players). There is also a Player versus Player (PvP) mode that you can unlock after reaching ESD level 11.
There are currently 33 different ships and pilots you can acquire through leveling up or finding blueprints through end of round salvages, which for anyone who is a completionist, is a big goal to achieve.
Navigating the main menu (Area 51) is a bit problematic. It felt unresponsive and sometimes while trying to access one sub menu, a different one would open instead. While you progress, illustrated versions of characters from the movie will pop up to give you the run down. Jeff Goldblum’s character shows up often to give you hints and tips as well as walks you through the tutorial. There is no clear place to press to continue the text during these speeches and sometimes you just get stuck until tapping your screen multiple times before you finally move on.
Battle Heroes is fun in short bursts. It is one of those “I’ve got 15 minutes to kill” kind of games. The repetitive gameplay and objectives make the game more of a time killer than a game I can sit and play for hours at a time. I like the sci-fi element and the nostalgic underlying presence of the original Independence Day movie. Upgrading your ships to do more damage and putting together a deadly fleet is rewarding, but not enough to keep me playing for extended periods of time.
Independence Day: Resurgence Battle Heroes will be available on Amazon, Android, and iOS platforms on June 9.